Women’s History Month Ride Guide

This route connects important spaces for women throughout Downtown LA, from women-designed architecture to spaces of change for women’s rights.

Start/End: Union Station West Portal

Length: 4.9-mile loop through Downtown LA stopping at various landmarks starting and ending at Union Station

Conditions: Easy to moderate elevation on primarily protected bike lanes in Downtown LA

Sights:

  • Los Angeles Plaza Park (Maria de Lopez)
  • Biddy Mason Memorial Park (Biddy Mason)
  • California Market Center (Norma Merrick Sklarek)
  • Herald-Examiner Building (Julia Morgan)
  • Hotel Figueroa (former YMCA funded entirely by women)

Directions:

  • Start at the Union Station Metro Bike Share Station
  • From the station cross Alameda Street by heading straight on Los Angeles Street
  • Make a right onto the Paseo De la Plaza path which circles the Los Angeles Plaza and leads us to our FIRST stop: Los Angeles Plaza Park

Maria De Lopez

In 1911 Maria de Lopez, a teacher and Suffragette, gave an unprecedented speech in support of women’s right to vote in Spanish, at the Los Angeles Plaza. Days later California passed a suffrage proposition and women won the right to vote 9 years before the 19th Amendment. Maria De Lopez is credited for helping California women win the right to vote. Learn more about Maria De Lopez at womenshistory.org.

  • From the plaza follow the bike path across Main Street at the crosswalk and past the Old Plaza Church Cemetery, which will be on your right. This path leads you to Spring Street.
  • Use the crosswalk to cross Spring Street, and make a LEFT onto the Spring Street Bike Lane
  • Follow Spring Street until you get to 333 Spring Street for our SECOND Stop: Biddy Mason Memorial Park. (Please note the park is through the open-air walkway at the Broadway Spring Center.)

Bridget Mason

Bridget ‘Biddy’ Mason came to California as an enslaved person and fought for her freedom in the California Courts. As a free woman, she bought an acre of land in what is now Downtown LA, became a midwife, and later a philanthropist. Her life is chronicled in this mini-park designed and created by women. Learn more about Bridget Mason at LAConservancy.org.

  • Continue on Spring until you reach the convergence of Spring and Main at 9th Street which is our THIRD Stop: The California Market Center designed by Norma Merrick Sklarek

Norma Merrick Sklarek

California Market Center, formerly California Mart was designed by architect Norma Merrick Sklarek who shattered many boundaries as an African American woman architect. She designed the original CMC building in 1963.  Other notable LA works are the Pacific Design Center, and part of Terminal 1 at LAX. Learn more about Norma Merrick Sklarek at Pioneering Women.

  • Continue on Main Street until you get to 11th Street
  • Make a Right on 11th Street, and in 1 block you will reach the Corner of 11th and Broadway which is our FOURTH Stop: Herald-Examiner designed by Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan was the first woman to get her Architecture license in California. She designed the Mission Revival style Herald Examiner building for William Randolph Hurst in 1914 and went on to build many other projects for him including Hearst Castle, and became an influential architect throughout California. Learn more about Julia Morgan at LAConservancy.org

  • Follow 11th St until you reach Figueroa
  • Turn Right on Figueroa and continue until just past Olympic Avenue which will lead you to our FIFTH stop: Hotel Figueroa, a former YWCA funded and built by women

Hotel Figueroa (formerly, YWCA)

The hotel was originally a YWCA that was funded by women for women. It opened in 1926 and allowed women visiting or moving to the city to do so without a male chaperone.  This opened doors for women in Los Angeles and fostered women’s groups and movements Learn more about the Hotel Figueroa in the LA Times.

  • From here you can follow Figueroa to 7th Street
  • Make a Right on 7th Street
  • Make a left on Main Street
  • Follow Main Street back to the Los Angeles Plaza
  • Right on the Plaza Path, to Los Angeles Street which flows into Union Station

 

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